Thanks for the response - I saw the posts by 777 and I have been reading them with interest. In fact, you could say that they prompted me to ask this almost 'opposite' question - my neuro thinks I still have symptoms either because I am depressed (!), hysterical, or possibly becomming SP - (btw, he now denies saying that ms doesn''t cause pain), I think he is confused because I don't have a huge amount of lesions, so he feels that, clinically, I should be better than I am, and he doesn't factor in how 'active' my lesions are, or where they are - the 3 in my c-spine cover most of the right side of the spinal cord in my neck (with gaps in between), so even if they resolve or heal to plaques or non-enhancing T2 weighted lesions (which some have), they still leave behind damage which prevents correct neuro-transmission - ditto my few brain lesions! Neuro does not get this at all - he is probably used to dealing with patients with even worse diseases, so feels I should think my self lucky I can walk (a bit), I think he only has 3 or 4 patients with ms.
I am a bit frustrated because I have asked him some questions (to which I knew the options or answers and was really just looking for an opinion), and he either told me the question was rubbish (supplements are useless), or deny things that I know to be true (the pain and ms issue). I am going to say something that no-one here will believe and you will all scream at me to get a new doc when you read, but keep in mind I don't have much choice: When he saw my mri in June - showing the rest of my lesions to now be non-enhancing t2 weighted lesions - still visible on film (I think our MRI scanner is a 2-tesler), and the biggie on my c-spine still enhancing, although not 'bulging' as it had been in Dec (does this mean my relapse is over?), he told me and my husband that I was back to normal and that ms wouldn't be bothering me ever again, so hubby asks- "do you mean she is cured?" in a highly sceptical (sarcastic) tone (he is an attorney), to which my neuro (bless his heart) answered "basically, yes"! My husband has refused to accompany me on any further consults for fear of ending up being arressted for punching my doctor....
By "relapse" you were referring to revisitation of past symptoms and using exacerbation you were referring to new symptoms?
Just the opposite (my understanding of the terms stands to be corrected, for sure, so I have probably got it the wrong way 'round!) - to me an exacerbation is a worsening of existing symptoms, whereas a relapse is the emergence of new symptoms not previously (or currently) experienced. I had a whole host of issues after a nasty relapse last year (early 2007) then in early 2008, my already weak rt leg got much weaker (quite suddenly), my ms hug, which had almost gone, came back pretty bad, numb/burning rt arm and hand started spasming frequently into a twisted claw, L'Hermittes got so bad I had to wear a soft neck collar/brace for a few weeks (always have L'Hermittes), major fatigue early each day blah, blah - all things I had already experienced and still had (to some extent) a year after they first appeared.
No new symptoms (until a few weeks ago when I 'maybe' had mild ON - neuro decided not, but Opthalmologist thought I had a mild attack, but just gave me oral steroids as I had already had it for a few weeks when I saw him and it was resolved as far as I was concerned, I have never had ON before).
But really, my query was - is it usual for a lesion to still enhance i.e. be 'active' and inflammation present on a low-sensitivity MRI from (at least) Dec to June - proven on MRI? Just one lesion, that active, for so long - not a new lesion, same one?
I think I read somewhere that a relapse lasts from 24 hrs to 4 weeks - my understanding of that was that although it might take much longer (and maybe never) for symptoms to disappear, the actual inflammation in the lesion(s) lasted up to a month... Taking into consideration that I had 3 seperate courses of IV steroids (1gram per day for 5 days) during these 6 months, (and that I had started Avonex in the Feb) - I was just curious if that was odd because I couldn't find anything about how long a single lesion was usually active for.
Basically - did my relapse last from Nov when symptoms started (mri in Dec) until at least June when lesion responsible for relapse was still enhancing....until when? I still have all the same symptoms, so have I had a 6 month relapse (as per MRI) or a one year relapse, or is it all just junk and is it best to largely ignore mainstream medicine (except for medications - DOM's) 'coz they haven't a clue either and just feed us rubbish?
I am starting to feel a bit peeved - I was told I was cured dammit, I was robbed! Bob, I expect you and Dom to stand with me on this...Na, just kidding, but hopefully there will be a cure in our lifetimes! Isn't it cheeky of him to say that though? What if I was some dumb schmuck who would have believed him, and then thought she was going insane...
So, how long does inflammation in one lesion last?
Thanks - apologies for long rambling posts - brevity is immpossible for me - I just don't know when to stop!